Max Verstappen’s much-heralded Formula 1 debut ended in disappointment on Sunday when the Dutch youngster was forced to retire from the Australian Grand Prix after 34 laps.
The 17-year-old set a new record for the youngest driver to start an F1 race in Melbourne, smashing Jaime Alguersuari’s existing record by 18 months.
After starting on the medium compound tire, Verstappen had been due to score points in his very first race. The Toro Rosso driver emerged from the pits on the soft compound tire in ninth place, with his sights set on the drivers ahead after making his final stop.
However, he soon reported that there was smoke in the car after exiting the pits, and eventually had to park up at the side of the track with 24 laps remaining in the race.
Verstappen has plenty of time to break the record for the youngest driver to score points in F1, but the Dutchman will be disappointed to have ended his grand prix debut in such fashion.
In contrast, fellow debutants Felipe Nasr and Carlos Sainz Jr. both managed to score points in Australia, finishing fifth and ninth respectively.